May 16, 2021

A Prayer for this Moment, Standing at the Mountain

A Prayer for this Moment, Standing at the Mountain 
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Dear, Holy One,
You, who abide
in the highest heights
and the innermost depths,
pour the best of You through the best of us.

We cannot stand at Your holy mountain,
if we ignore the terrain.
We cannot be of service to Your world
if we fail to find our balance.

And so we turn to You, Maker of Peace,
because the tremors below
are causing wide fissures between us.

I look East and see my child in danger.
I look East and see my parents running for cover.
I look East and see my sister and brother and their babies,
taking shelter as sirens blaze and rockets explode,
and, in this moment, I cannot see anything else.

This makes Your mountain even smaller,
but not small enough that I can recognize
my cousins on the other side,
separated from me by painful histories.
The rockets blind me to all we’ve shared.
But there they are, vulnerable and scared,
the worst of humanity holding them hostage, too.

As we pray to receive Your wisdom this holy, revelatory night,
what do we truly pray for our cousins to receive?
Destruction? A mountain over their heads?
What we do not wish for ourselves,
we must never wish upon our neighbors.

Though we know that defending our children, our parents, our families,
is right in Your eyes, we do feel the terrible cost, pulsing in the earth itself,
causing great tectonic collisions, opening great rifts between Your children
on the different sides of the mountain.

And so, Source of Life, we will do our very best
to forge a path up the mountain,
to see past its rocky border
and remember You too dwell in our cousins’ eyes.

May we only do what we must to protect ourselves,
until that great day when swords and rockets, war itself
will forever be banished from the land.

May all Your images lie down in safety,
ready to wake and rebuild our shared and fractured world.

Amen.


May 2, 2021

Announcing New Dates on the A Rabbi's Heart #BookTour!


Announcing New Dates on the
A Rabbi's Heart
#BookTour!
Dynamic conversations between author Rabbi Menachem Creditor and a diverse community of religious leaders celebrating the release of Rabbi Creditor’s newest book –
A Rabbi's Heart
, featuring selections of his writings during the eleven years between 2006-2017. The interchange of ideas during this sharing of time and heart will touch on issues of Social Justice, Zionism, America, Torah, and Spirituality and will inspire participants with a renewed appreciation of self, community, faith, and the world.
May 6, 1pm - Rabbi
Adina Lewittes
, #Shaar
May 11, 9pm - Rabbi Ken Chasen,
Leo Baeck Temple
May 13, 11am - Rabbi Mike Uram,
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
May 20, 12pm - Julia Knobloch, #Poet,
Ziegler
Rabbinical Student
June 1, 5pm - Rabbi Nicole Guzik,
Sinai Temple
June 3, 11am - Rabbi Daniel Gropper,
Community Synagogue of Rye
A Rabbi's heart is available on Amazon or at tinyurl.com/arabbisheart

Apr 30, 2021

Looking forward to next week's #ARabbisHeart Conversations with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz & Rabbi Adina Lewittes!

Looking forward to next week's #ARabbisHeart Conversations with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz & Rabbi Adina Lewittes! Get your copy at tinyurl.com/arabbisheart! Tune in at
facebook.com/menachemcreditor
!
For an archive of all past #arabbisheart conversations, click here: https://tinyurl.com/arabbisheartbooktour


Apr 19, 2021

James Baldwin has been speaking to me.

 

Over the last few months,
James Baldwin has been speaking to me.
I've been trying to hear, to listen,
to pause, significantly, before trying to relate.
He left home because the fury there felt like a threat.
Away, he discovered love of that furious home,
which is why it hurt him so deeply.
Some of his thoughts require no translation.
Some are of a language which will never be mine.
Yet he speaks to me.

- Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Apr 18, 2021

Judaism as an Essential Ingredient for a Healing World

Judaism for its own sake is a strange concept - in Jewish terms. We weren’t created simply to be. We were created to bring light into the world. During this time of global fragility what can we bring to the world that it doesn’t already have? What is our responsibility as Jews in the world?

Apr 7, 2021

Thrilled to announce the first two events of the #aRabbisHeart Conversations Series!

Thrilled to announce the first two events of the #aRabbisHeart Conversations Series! Join us as we discuss my most recent book, a collection of 11 years of my writings, with dear friends and colleagues! Can't wait to share this with all of you!

Tues, April 20 - 2pm (ET)
Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin
Associate Rabbi,
Beth Tzedec Congregation, Toronto
to join the conversation: facebook.com/rabbicreditor

Thurs, April 22 - 10am (ET)
Daphne Lazar Price
Executive Director, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
to join the conversation: facebook.com/rabbicreditor

You can purchase your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Rabbis-Heart-Selected-Writings-2006-2017/dp/B08YS629F4

#conversation #booktour

We remember and we make real: Never Again. #MorningTorah #YomaHaShoah #Shemini

 

Mar 10, 2021

A Vaccine Prayer

A Vaccine Prayer

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Dear God,
after all the loss,
the distance, the sadness, the aloneness,
Give me life. Grant me back Your world. Please.
Give my children reason for hope. Please. Please.

Holy Healing One,
May the vaccine I'm about to receive be a sign that healing is arriving once again in our world, for all Your worried children.
May my body's temporary discomfort sensitize me to the needs of this fragile world that remain invisible to the eye.
May my body's pent-up tension, held back during an unfathomable year of constriction and stress, be channeled in a healthy way for those around me.
May the scientists and doctors and nurses who have served as your angels and saved our world be granted restoration of soul and healing of mind.

I pledge before You, Source of All, to do as much good as I can as long as my soul is within me.

May I be granted a life filled by the honor of serving You by serving others.

Thank You. Goodness.
Thank You. Healing.
Thank You. Life.

Amen.


#vaccine #COVID19 #prayer

A morning like no other. I shared a poem written by my dear friend Stacey Zisook Robinson z"l, and my own life moment, as today I received my first vaccine. This morning, we shared some Torah. And tears. #HolyTears #Gratitude #MorningTorah

 

Mar 8, 2021

"A Prayer for Hope" by my friend Stacey Zisook Robinson z"l. May her memory be for a blessing.

Today we began learning Torah again, celebrating a #Siyyum, a completion of the entire Torah last Friday. #ChazakChazakVenitchazek #SiyyumHaTorah #HafochBah #BeginAgain #MorningTorah #BuildOnLove

Today we began learning Torah again, celebrating a #Siyyum, a completion of the entire Torah last Friday. We began broadcasting March 18, 2020, and didn't miss a weekday morning since. To all of you for sharing in the building of this sacred community, as far away as Saudia Arabia, Pakistan, France, Holland, England, Israel, and Yonkers, bless you.
 
I dedicate our year of Torah to my precious parents, who blessed me with Torah from even before I was born, to my holy wife, for holding my heart with such love and wisdom, and to my UJA-Federation of New York colleague Mark Medin, for championing this online experiment a year ago. Thank you, friends, for sharing the journey.
 

Mar 5, 2021

On Finishing a Year of Torah

In the midst of these strange times, a growing community of friends have joined together every weekday morning at 9am on the UJA-Federation of New York Facebook page to learn Torah, to keep each other company, to strengthen each other. I know this has been a positive thing for others, but it has been a vital thing for me, not only as a teacher, but as a Jew. This came up just a few days ago in conversation with my mentor, Rabbi Craig Scheff of the Orangetown Jewish Center (OJC). I was his first rabbinic intern. It has come up in conversation with my father, Rabbi Gary Creditor, who has always been my rabbi. I have become increasingly aware of what a privilege it is to be a rabbi, to be part of the lineage of Torah teachers that stretches back in time for thousands of years and will, please God, continue forever. I will be forever grateful for the blessing of being part of a Torah community, and this morning felt like no other. Monday morning we will celebrate a siyyum, a completion of a cycle of learning, and we will launch immediately into the cycle to come. Torah is always moving forward, and we with Torah. "All her ways are pleasant, and all her paths are peace. (Prov. 3:17)"

*SPECIAL MOMENT* Today marked the end of an entire Torah cycle of 9am broadcasts on the UJA-Federation of New York Facebook page. There we've gathered with thousands of good, kind souls, every morning since March 18, 2020 to learn Torah, to strengthen each other, to engage in our world, and to build community. Monday morning at 9am, we will celebrate a #siyyum of the entire Torah, beginning again where the strange and winding sacred path launched one year ago. May we be blessed to experience love for each other and our world through Torah morning and night. #MorningTorah #ShabbatShalom

 *SPECIAL MOMENT* Today marked the end of an entire Torah cycle of 9am broadcasts on the UJA-Federation of New York Facebook page. There we've gathered with thousands of good, kind souls, every morning since March 18, 2020 to learn Torah, to strengthen each other, to engage in our world, and to build community. Monday morning at 9am, we will celebrate a #siyyum of the entire Torah, beginning again where the strange and winding sacred path launched one year ago. May we be blessed to experience love for each other and our world through Torah morning and night. #MorningTorah #ShabbatShalom 

Feb 24, 2021

What Is Purim?

Wow. Recorded this #Purim video with #InsideEdition last year. Feels like a million years ago. But made me smile - may Purim look like that again sometime soon! #PurimSameach #MarbimBeSimcha 

Being fabulous, Being of service. #Tetzaveh #MorningTorah

 

Feb 23, 2021

The #SNL thing is exhausting. But it's also symbolic and real

"Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality." -Edgar Allan Poe

The #SNL thing is exhausting. But it's also symbolic and real. And there's a significant difference between the way it plays out in Israel (the ostensible target of the joke) and the way it plays out in America, where 'Jewish,' the punchline to the #antisemitic 'joke,' is a physically vulnerable minority.

While I don't often quote the Jerusalem Post, their editorial (which called the outcry over Michael Che's joke 'unreasonable') articulated why in an America that still boasts Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and tiki-torch-wielding White Nationalists, a fierce Jewish response is necessary:

"It’s one thing for us to make fun of ourselves to each other here, and quite another for someone else to make fun of us to others over there. That type of joke in Israel will not spur someone with antisemitic tendencies to go dab a swastika on the wall of a synagogue, or worse. In America it may."

_______________

art: "Words in the Wind," Ruben Monzon

In the spirit of Queen Esther, let’s make this a better world by turning things (and ourselves) over and over again, until we get it right! #RealPurimTorah

 

Feb 19, 2021

What is the answer to the question of lighting candles where and when you are as you celebrate Shabbat together through digital communal convenings in different time zones (ie, new York and Jerusalem)?

#Question: What is the answer to the question of lighting candles where and when you are as you celebrate Shabbat together through digital communal convenings in different time zones (ie, new York and Jerusalem)?

#Answer: As one might imagine, different rabbis have different answers to this truly modern question. I say this: Lighting at 10am in New York as part of a Jerusalem community is holy but not halachically applicable (meaning that Shabbat does not begin in New York despite being spiritually connected to Jerusalem through a holy beyond-space simultaneous convening).

In the realm of the holy, space and time do not exist. But in the realms of time and space, holiness is like an electric current - we tap in to its theoretically boundless power but are not dissolved into energy ourselves. Shabbat begins at different moments based on location, the boundaries of time and space still apply to our lives, though the spiritual beauty knows no limits.

A Shabbos gift from Neshama and me!

 (Mi Anochi cowritten by Ariel Creditor and Rabbi Menachem Creditor)

So emotional. "Make me a holy space, and I will dwell within you." The Torah could never have predicted a sacred digital community, but for the past 237 weekday mornings, weekday mornings with UJA-Federation's 9am Torah community has been nothing short of godly. #MorningTorah #BuildOnLove

 

Feb 9, 2021

with a snap | a #WandaVision poem.


with a snap
(c) menachem creditor

If only we could control what comes next
bring them back
bring them all back
the snap it would be

no loss, no loss, no loss

but we can't
that's not how it works
it's not a snap

some gems are lost
even precious visions end
and we can't just can't
bring them back
with a snap

but we dare not lose
everything: ourselves, the world
as we grieve what we cannot control


___
a #WandaVision poem.

How does this week's Torah portion model a modern response to injustice? #justice #justicejustice #BuildOnLove

 

Feb 1, 2021

The myth that Jews do not abuse their spouses must be shattered!

In memory of Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, let us spend time this week discussing/sharing what he labeled "The Shame Borne in Silence: Spouse Abuse in the Jewish Community." In his 1996 groundbreaking book on Jewish Domestic Violence, he wrote:

"The myth that Jews do not abuse their spouses must be shattered! Now for the first time, a direct address to the problem of spouse abuse in the Jewish community! We can no longer permit ourselves to deny the existence of this terrible crime. The time has come to confront the truth and to take definitive steps to end this violation of all that Judaism stands for."

Here are some links for further exploration:

The Shame Borne in Silence: Spouse Abuse in the Jewish -Community - "Throughout the book, the author engages the reader with vignettes, using dialogue to illustrate how the abusive spouse establishes control and power while the victim doubts herself and accepts blame for her behavior. This stylistic technique allows readers to recognize the control tactics and to feel the hurt, bewilderment and resignation of the victim." - https://www.amazon.com/Shame-Borne-Silence.../dp/0964850818

Trager Lemp Center: Treating Trauma & Promoting Resilience - part of Westchester Jewish Community Services - "The Trager Lemp Center’s comprehensive outpatient programs are geared towards helping survivors of trauma and abuse and their families. The center provides targeted services for adult and child survivors of incest and child sex abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. We also provide comprehensive treatment for families of children with problematic sexual behavior." - http://www.wjcs.com/trauma/

New York Legal Assistance Group - NYLAG - Founded in 1990, NYLAG is a leading civil legal services organization combatting economic, racial, and social justice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. "The effects of intimate partner violence are long-lasting, affecting many aspects of a survivor’s life. This includes their physical safety, economic stability, housing, and health. Intimate partner violence can also have profound effects on children, who have often witnessed the violence. Access to trauma-informed, client-centered representation is crucial for our clients’ paths towards self-determination, safety, and security." - https://www.nylag.org/intimate-partner-violence/

What a gift it is to stand with leaders from other faiths, to listen to and gain from the learned wisdom of others, to do the hard work of communal introspection and healing! #Yitro #AbrahamTwerski #SistersAndBrothers #Faith

 

Jan 27, 2021

Upcoming Events!

Upcoming Events!

#MorningTorah
every weekday morning at 9am (Eastern) with UJA-Federation of New York: https://www.facebook.com/ujafedny

#KaddishMinyan every Wednesday at 4pm (Eastern) with MyJewishLearning.com: https://zoom.us/j/317119653

#ShabbatShirah (Jan 30) davening with Congregation Beth El in West Orange, NJ: https://bethelnj.org/

Book Talk on #RememberAndDoNotForget Thurs, Feb 4th at 1pm (Eastern) with the Zioness Movement: https://zioness.org/events

"Essential Ingredients for a Healing World" - Scholar in Residence Shabbat Feb 5-7, featuring a Saturday night concert with Neshama Carlebach - with Westchester Jewish Center: wjcenter.org/scholar

"Covid, Ethics and the State of Judaism in American" Wednesday, Feb 10 at 7pm (Eastern) with Temple Beth Sholom, Cherry Hill: https://www.tbsonline.org/event/zoom-covid-ethics-and-the-state-of-judaism-in-america.html

And find out more at: http://rabbicreditor.blogspot.com


A Prayer for this Moment, Standing at the Mountain

A Prayer for this Moment, Standing at the Mountain  © Rabbi Menachem Creditor Dear, Holy One, You, who abide in the highest heights and the ...